Base Coaching


Liam Carroll

Yesterday I Tweeted this video of a great 1st Base coach, miked up during a game.  Interesting and entertaining stuff.  It reminded me of this similar video of a 3rd Base Coach miked up.  Both videos show how important the base coaches are and how broad their roles are.  There is a lot more to do than give some signs and wave runners around the bases.

One of the simple things a 3rd Base coach can do to make their job easier is to position themselves correctly.  Create angles that give you more time to make good decisions and make it easier for the base runners to see you.  Two examples:

With a runner at 1st Base, you should be level with 3rd Base or on the outfield side of the base.  By doing this the base runner has an easier view of you as they approach 2nd Base.

With a runner at 2nd Base, you should be at the home plate side of 3rd Base, again creating an angle where you have more time to see the play unfold and making it easier for the runner to see you as they approach 3rd Base on a turn - or pass 3rd Base and need to be stopped.

I encourage base coaches to get outside the coaches box, which always leads to a question about whether that's allowed or not.  Start in the box and when the ball is in play use as much space as you need to make good decisions and enable the runners to see you - providing you don't interfere with play.

Baseball rules are here (4.05).  For ISF rules you need to do some hovering and clicking through their website, here (Rule 4 section 1).  As long as you're not interfering with play you can leave the box. 

Check out the base coaches next time you watch an MLB game; you'll see lots of conversations and stopwatches, and you'll see 3rd Base coaches using space - Larry Bowa liked to run all the way home with his players.

And remember that you can make your job even easier by creating a culture where your players run hard until they're stopped, rather than assuming they'll be stopped.  It takes no talent to hustle.


tagged under: baseball, coaching, softball, base coaching

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About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

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